Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Monday, May 17, 2023.
Kariakoo traders take on TRA corruption, joint committee formed
Kariakoo traders made a strong stand against corruption within the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) during their meeting with Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Wednesday.
The government organized the meeting in response to a two-day strike by the traders in Kariakoo. Traders had called a strike on May 15,2023, in protest of three issues: bureaucracy at the port, confiscation of goods by the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), and a new requirement that traders register monthly stock movements with TRA.
The meeting today started with a dramatic disagreement among the traders regarding the format of the meeting. It appeared that the meeting was planned to be between the traders’ leadership and the Prime Minister. However, due to the traders’ objections, it was later decided to open the meeting to everyone.
Many traders expressed their grievances regarding the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), stating that TRA corruption has reached an intolerable level. One trader, Sinyali Kimambo, shared, “TRA officers follow us to our homes and subject us to abuse. They constantly threaten to seize our goods. Do they expect us to sell our bodies?”, rhetorically asked Kimambo.
Traders emphasized that corruption by TRA occurs during the importation of goods or when their clients, especially those from other countries, move their cargo.
This issue has led many clients who used to come to Tanzania for goods to shift their business to neighboring countries like Uganda and Kenya. “TRA officers no longer prioritize the nation’s interests; it’s all about personal gain,” explained a cargo transporter from Kigoma Mr Balamu Nyenge. “TRA has become a toxic presence, causing most traders to flee Tanzania because Dar es Salaam has become unbearable.”
Traders also pointed out how teams of TRA officers are strategically positioned throughout the Kariakoo market, eagerly waiting to harass individuals with consignments.
In response to the corruption issue, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa stressed that this battle must become a top priority for everyone, and people should be willing to expose those who engage in corrupt practices.
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Mbowe brushes off talk of the party split
The Chairperson of CHADEMA, Freeman Mbowe, assured party members yesterday that the party is united and dismissed rumors of tension with his Vice Chairperson as baseless.
“I want to assure CHADEMA members this party is strong than ever because I have heard rumors that there is tension between me and my Vice-Chair,” said Mbowe as he was concluding a rally in Kigoma.
Mbowe went on to admit that in some cases there might be differences in the party but called it all part of the party’s democratic spirit.
“We will protect this party at any cost, we have all agreed on this” continue Mbowe, “this is a democratic party sometime we might have differences in approach or in a few areas but the vision is the same and we will continue to be unified.”
Speculation over possible cracks forming in the opposition CHADEMA party has been gaining steam lately, with some observers pointing to a possible strife between the party’s national chairperson Freeman Mbowe and his deputy for Tanzania Mainland Tundu Lissu.
It all boils down to the two approaches between Mbowe and Tundu Lissu, Lissu who present the activist element in the party believes that reconciliation talk is nothing but a façade.
On the other hand, Mbowe a unified character of the party and a more strategic has no option but to continue with the reconciliation talk, especially after several important gains, including putting the new constitution agenda at the heart of the government plan.
In our early analysis, we had forewarned that difference in approach between Lissu and Mbowe will be something that will attract talk of division and even be exploited by external forces outside the party.
While there are no easy answers as to how CHADEMA can reconcile these two approaches, the party will need to evolve and reconcile the two approaches.
In its latest drive, CHADEMA has launched a new campaign 255 which focuses on a new constitution, with the party strategizing through public rallies and registration of new members in their digital database.
Government concerned over rising hypertension cases
The Minister of Health, Ummy Mwalimu has on yesterday raised concern on the increase in hypertension cases in the country.
“In 2017 there were only 688,901 hypertension patients who visited healthcare facilities but in 2021 the number has increased to 1,345,847 patients,” said Ummy Mwalimu.
In its assessment, the Ministry also looked at the number of patients at the Jakaya Kikwete cardiac institute, it was noted that 66 percent of patients who had heart problems also had hypertension.
Hypertension is the sixth problem that caused many Tanzania to be bedridden between July 2022 and March 2023, a total of 1,575,127 patients received in-patient care during that period.
Other illnesses which cause Tanzanians to be bedridden include Malaria (121,459 patients), pneumonia (110,052 patients), Anaemia (68,340 patients), UTI(61,823 patients), diarrhea (50,651 patients) and hypertension (46,717 patients).
According to the World Health Organization Hypertension (high blood pressure) is when the pressure in blood vessels is too high (140/90 mmHg or higher). It is common but can be serious if not treated.
Some of the main causes of hypertension according to WHO include older age, genetics, being overweight or obese, not being physically active, a high salt diet, and drinking too much alcohol.
May 17 each year is World Hypertension Day, a day dedicated to highlighting the importance of monitoring blood pressure
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